Marketing online is more responsive
One of the benefits of e-commerce and marketing online is you do not have long lead times for some of your posts and implementing strategies. If you sell to a bricks and mortar retailer, you might have to plan ads and promotions months in advance. If you are selling on your own website or a marketplace like Amazon you can change your price today, as long as you have inventory and the ability to fill the orders.
The tighter timelines are advantageous, but they should not be an excuse to avoid a plan and timelines. As we have discussed previously, you do need a plan and there are a lot of components to marketing and selling successfully online.
You should consider your plan for selling direct to consumers and on marketplaces.
Just the same as selling in bricks and mortar, success is not just about making great products to sell, it is about selling the great products you make. To help you do this we have designed a new SKUFood C.A.R.T. process specifically for e-commerce. We have been learning a lot about this channel and invested the time to develop our proven process for this channel.
You can maximize the opportunity when you put the resources and effort into selling your products in a different channel. In the third segment of our C.A.R.T. process for e-commerce we ask the question ‘When will you implement your plan with consumers and customers?’
Timing can make the difference
In the food and beverage industry timing for promotions and other sales opportunities can be driven by retailers. They have ads and themes they expect suppliers to fit into. E-commerce is very different in that you can control when to make offers and share your message with consumers. This ability to determine when and where is exciting.
Now that you have the ability to share messages when you determine they are important, you can test their effectiveness. The response from promotions in bricks and mortar might be one result, but when you try a different approach or timing in e-commerce you might improve the effectiveness and return on the investment. If you desire you can even share some of this learning in the other channels where you compete.
Online marketplaces do encourage sellers to develop and implement a promotion plan. They want consumers to visit the site for ‘deals’ and the more traffic they generate the better. Often your items will get more exposure when you attach coupons or discounts. The timing of these is important to stand out from others in the category and generate sales.
The timing of your program should also be impacted by your ability to respond. Consumers online expect brands to be responsive. If they take the time to engage, they want a genuine answer back. Develop the posts and sharing of information to coincide with when you have resources to answer their questions and react to their comments.
How far out to plan
We recommend having a plan for bricks and mortar that is 12 months out. Your customers are planning this far in advance and you need to as well or you will miss opportunities. Planning for e-commerce can be less cumbersome and you can reduce the time. Obviously, you need stock so that will impact your plan but as far as the actual promotion and offers you can work quarterly to ensure you are reacting and keeping your message relevant.
This only makes sense when you commit to reacting to the market and keeping your plan flexible. If you are going to ‘do it anyway’ then you should plan further out but you do risk missing some of the online opportunities where you can react and maximize the opportunity.
If you have any questions or help figuring out how to get your product online or in the virtual shopping cart you can always call me at (902) 489-2900 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are adding more industry updates and interesting ideas to your SKUFood newsletter. Hopefully you have heard me say this before and that it resonated with you in your business.
“Success in this industry is not just about making a great product to sell; it is about selling the great products you make”
If you see things happening let us know so we can share them with our community. We also want to hear if you find this helpful and benefits your food and beverage business!
FCC creating peer groups for food manufacturers
It is very exciting to be working on two peer groups with FCC. All of the information about the groups is included here. If you are interested in either one of the peer groups just use the link at the bottom of the page.
US Export capacity
It has been a privilege to work with the team at Aliment to support businesses from Atlantic Canada build capacity to export to USA. We have 4 webinars planned that are packed with great information from people who know how to do this. The team is from across North America who will be delivering the sessions and I know I am looking forward to learning a lot.
Food & Beverage Atlantic US export capacity Sept 22
Food & Beverage Atlantic US export capacity Sept 29
Pitching in the USA
Food & Beverage Atlantic US export capacity Oct 6
Getting it ready, getting it right
Food & Beverage Atlantic US export capacity Oct 13
Sales & marketing basics
Our industry continues to evolve-cultured meat
There are a number of reasons outlined in the attached article that this could be successful. I know in our house the mix of products looks very different than it did 5-6 years ago. Will we see cultured meat soon too? Would you see it in your house in the next 3-5 years?